Robert M. Gates To Appear At Tri-C Luncheon

CLEVELAND — Robert M. Gates, who served as U.S. secretary of defense under two presidential administrations, will be the featured guest at the Cuyahoga Community College Foundation’s 2018 Presidential Scholarship Luncheon.

The event to benefit student scholarships at Cuyahoga Community College will be held at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel on Public Square. The luncheon is presented in partnership with KeyBank.

Since its inception in 1992, the Presidential Scholarship Luncheon has raised more than $18 million to help Tri-C students with financial need pursue higher education and achieve their dreams.

“Opportunity begins with access to higher education,” said Trina Evans, chairperson of the Tri-C Foundation. “Scholarships created through this luncheon provide critically needed funds for those who might otherwise be unable to afford the life-changing classes and workforce training offered at the College.”

Gates adds to the list of distinguished speakers to headline the Presidential Scholarship Luncheon, joining Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and diplomats such as Condoleezza Rice, Gen. Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright.

In nearly five decades of public service, Gates served eight U.S. presidents. His storied career culminated in 2011 with President Barack Obama awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Gates joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1966 and spent nearly 27 years as an intelligence official. He became director of the CIA in 1991, becoming the only officer to rise from entry-level employee to the head of the agency.

He served as secretary of defense from 2006 to 2011 under Presidents Bush and Obama. He is the only secretary of defense in the nation’s history asked to remain in office by a newly elected president.

Gates now serves as chancellor of William & Mary, his alma mater in Williamsburg, Virginia. Previously, he was president of Texas A&M University from 2002 to 2006.

He is also an author with three memoirs to his name, including a New York Times best-seller. His most recent book — A Passion for Leadership: Lessons on Change and Reform from Fifty Years of Public Service — was published in 2016.

“Throughout his life, Robert Gates has answered the call to serve others while building a legacy of leadership,” said Megan O‘Bryan, president of the Tri-C Foundation. “We’re honored to welcome him to our annual luncheon to share his experiences and support scholarships.”

The luncheon discussion with Gates will be moderated by Dr. Toby Cosgrove, executive advisor and former CEO and president of the Cleveland Clinic.

For ticket information, call the Tri-C Foundation at 216-987-4868.

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